To say that Andy Murray deserves better should go without saying. A champion of all the right causes, and a decent bloke to boot, Murray is stepping away from the sport he loves (and is awesome at) due to a hip injury that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s a very tragic start to the tour, but also breaks up the Big Four. Murray’s 2019 Australian Open futures odds have been adjusted.
Novak Djokovic (+160 2019 Australian Open Futures)
Sitting atop the market is none other than the man himself. The world’s number-one tennis player has crushed the competition in the first major of the year six times, but has most recently been ousted in the 2nd round and the 4th round during the last two renewals. Djokovic is as good of a bet as anyone, and boasts a 61-8 record at the tournament itself. Its his highest win percentage amongst all majors. There’s not much value here, but the probability that Djokovic begins the season on a tear is very high. These aren’t bad odds, but they’re riskier than they should be given the price.
Roger Federer (+600) and Rafael Nadal (+950)
If you’re wondering why Nadal has much bigger odds compared to his chief rival, it’s because the Australian Open is his “bridemaid” spot. He’s reached the knockout rounds ten times in his career, along with four finals, but only won the event once. By contrast, Federer has thrived in the heat with 14 semi-finals berths in the last 15 seasons. That’s also been punctuated by six victories. Federer is the best bet to take in 2019 Australian Open futures by far. He’s a freak of nature. Nobody should be this good for this long.
Alexander Zverev (+1200)
According to the2019 Australian Open futures, Zverev is the newest member of the big four. And he should be after beating Djokovic in the ATP Tour Finals to end the season, and prove to everyone that his time is on the horizon. The 21-year old, unfortunately, hasn’t done well in previous majors having been to just one quarter-finals in the 2018 French Open where a hamstring injury led to his demise. Zverev is probably the most fun bet on the board given the massive payback. The oddsmakers are giving him respect, and the rest of the tour is on notice. Will he deliver?
Marin Cilic (+2975)
It’s rare in sports that a 30-year old has a breakout season, but Cilic could be poised for one. This is optimistic thinking at best, but he’s the 5th favorite on the board. One of the reasons is that Cilic has stepped up his output at majors, reaching quarter-finals in six of his last 12 appearances. He was also a finalist at least year’s Australian Open. It’s hard to gauge a mid-level competitor like him, but a flier bet isn’t out of the question, especially considering the huge payout. Cilic shares the same 2019 Australian Open futures odds as Kei Nishikori.
Andy Murray (+5950)
We’ll end on a sad note. This is a bad bet, and you know that by now. Murray is the emotional play if your heartstrings tug at you hard enough. There’s no telling if Murray will last the whole tournament. His hip is that bad. Still, it’s hard not to be invested in his final tournament. It will be a journey. Whether or not you invest in his 2019 Australian Open futures mark is up to you. But watch his games. His career has been a gift, not just to him, but to us as sports fans as well.